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Time for a total revision of Te Tiriti O Waitangi

We about to commemorate 180 years of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (the Treaty of Waitangi), yet grievances are still smouldering on. We must consider a better path forward for both Māori and our other Treaty partner, Pākehā!

With embarrassing and often shameful negative Māori statistics, Māori haven’t become better, but actually worse. We have never had in the history of politics so many MPs of Māori descent sitting in Parliament, all 29 of them, while 20 are in this present Labour-led government, along with the 7 Māori electorate seats they hold. Yet with all this Māori political influence, we have come no closer to solving the issues Māori seriously face today. If Māori are serious about their future, they can not vote for Labour anymore.

Don’t forget too, the historic National & Māori Party coalition also failed Māori aspirations in the long run, who were then sent a convincingly clear message by voters in the next election where the Māori Party was annihilated from existence, and it should stay that way. The Māori Party was a party born out of an issue, and if I’m gauging the future right, we won’t need a Māori Party anymore.

We must consider the opportunity presented this year at Waitangi 2020 - that we should not proceed into the next decade with unrest, and the persistent grievance that still remains in many Māori. As one Iwi leader, said, “it’s a knot in the gut of Māori that still won’t go away even after many Treaty Settlements”. It will take a lot of courage and of course Hui, but it’s time to take bold steps for the sake of ALL Māori who are suffering under continual colonial trauma.

If you are still fighting yesterday you cannot plan tomorrow. We must live for where we are now, not where we were! Sometimes traditions are binding and cultures can be a restraining force on progress. Sometimes free feels funny when you have been bound for so long.

Vision New Zealand believes it’s time for a Constitution of New Zealand to be formed between the two original partners of Te Tiriti O Waitangi....between Māori and Pākehā. This provides an opportunity to amend, clarify, put right any identifiable breaches and hopefully bring reasonable closure to historic loose ends. This change may not be easy, but neither have the last 180 years been easy. If you think this is sacriledge, well even more so is our Māori people currently suffering socially, economically and mentally.

Often, a revision of treatys or agreements is necessary. Remember the original 1997 Kyoto Protocol agreement between nations, where later on, with the addition of new nations, they boldly realized that the first treaty was outdated and so the 2015 Paris accord was born. Closer to home, Whakaputanga (The Declaration of Independence) was the first Treaty signing in New Zealand, but then later on the improved version of Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed.

Now is our time to make a change!
If Māori are bold enough to revise Te Tiriti o Waitangi with our Treaty partner, Pākehā, and meet satisfactory amendments, we are in effect birthing a new nation, a new constitution, that unites One People together, celebrating our shared future. A new nation should have a new constitution! Māori have long desired Tino rangatiratanga (self-determination). Vision New Zealand will ensure Tino rangatiratanga will also finally come to Māori within this new constitution.

Waitangi Day has never truly been celebrated by both of the two Treaty partners in equal attendance at Waitangi. Let’s change things moving forward. Waitangi Day should be a beautiful celebration of both Treaty partners, with a new constitution. One people together, celebrating our shared future.

Kia ora!

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